Genesis 25:1–11

25 1 Abraham took another wife, and her name was Keturah. 2 She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. 3 Jokshan begot Sheba and Dedan. Dedan’s sons were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim. 4 Midian’s sons were Ephah, Epher, Enoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were Keturah’s sons. 5 Abraham gave all that was his to Isaac. 6 To the sons of Abraham’s concubines, Abraham gave gifts while he was still alive, and sent them away from his son Isaac, eastward to the Eastland.
     7 The days and years of Abraham’s life were one hundred and seventy-five years. 8 Abraham breathed his last and died at a good ripe-age, old and satisfied, and he was gathered to his kinspeople. 9 Isaac and Ishmael, his sons, buried him in the cave in Machpelah, which is in the field of Zohar’s son, Ephron the Hittite, facing Mamre. 10 There were Abraham and Sarah his wife buried. 11 It was after Abraham’s death that God blessed Isaac his son, and Isaac settled at Beer-lahairoi (by the Well of the Living-One Who-Sees-Me).

Abraham dies at the age of 175, 38 years after Sarah. This genealogy marks the end of the story of Abraham.

Sarah waited long for a child. After her death, Abraham takes another wife/concubine—Keturah. The tradition sometimes places Keturah as a re-named Hagar. This designation has the benefit of placing all of Abraham’s sons, except Isaac, in a single extended clan of nomads. By receiving gifts from Abraham, Keturah’s sons receive their inheritance and have no further claim on Abraham or his descendants through Isaac—they are not Sarah’s children. They are sent further eastward, which would be at or past Sodom and Gomorrah.

The tradition sometimes sees Keturah as a third wife/concubine. This perspective gives two different sets of clans. One comes through the five sons of Keturah, and the other includes twelve tribes of Ishmael through Hagar. Each of these will have periodically difficult relations with the seed of Isaac.

At Abraham’s death, Ishmael and Isaac, together, bury him with Sarah in the cave purchased at Machpelah. You can read about the joining of estranged brothers as a model of potential peace in God Wrestling by Arthur Waskow.

There are Midrash stories about the physical and emotional distance between Abraham and Isaac. Abraham never does bless Isaac. The Binding never does get resolved between the two of them. It is only after Abraham’s death that we hear of G*D fulfilling Abraham’s duty to bless Isaac. There does come a question about the worth of a blessing from Abraham or Abraham’s god if Abraham’s blessing led to the Binding of Isaac. Is it worth receiving?

Isaac puts his roots down in Beer-Lahoi-Roi, Hagar’s place of being seen, not in Beer-Sheba or Hebron, places associated with Abraham.

Though Abraham’s story ends, the relationship of those associated with him remains fraught—Lot, Hagar, Ishmael, Isaac, sons of Keturah. Readers are invited to consider the results of their life-to-date and whether its consequences are already fated or can still be changed.

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